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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Title says it all...55 year old car lover, I'm currently driving a 2003 Audi S3 8L running standard apart from a stage1 remap around 250 bhp, with a cat back non-res Milltek and K & N panel filter.

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Trouble is my mileage is down to less than 2k a year and is now mostly urban/suburban so not much need for it. It's just burning money, sat in my garage most of the time and it needs to be driven hard regularly, so I've been looking to get another 'hot hatch' but more suited to what I need and thought a ST150 might be a good choice.

Now I know you're all biased on here :laughing: but I'd welcome any advice/opinions...I appreciate I'll be dropping on power, top speed, etc. but never really get to open up my S3 that much anyway.

From the little I've read so far, the ST150 seems open to plenty of upgrades to help on improving the driving experience.

Need to tidy up a few things on my S3 before selling so I expect it will be around the summer when I start hunting so plenty of time to educate me.

Look forward to your comments
 

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Rare car now those S3's

Like you say biased on here but prices are good for these at the moment although good ones are rising.

Parts are pretty cheap, so a good base to start with. You can start from standard. Depends what you are after? Plenty are happy with the 165ish BHP from a filter, exhaust and map. Or go cams for 185bhp. Or add an Inlet to go 200bhp. I have a 200bhp mountune car and it's how they should have been from factory for me.

These do excel in the handling department though and with age most will need consumables replacing now so perfect excuse to change suspension, brakes, bushes etc.

Thing specific to these are noisy/knackered power steering pumps, stiff gear change etc. But nothing that can't be rectified. Check for rust around rear arches especially where the side skirt meets the rear arch. I was shocked on some breakers how bad it was there.

Plenty of guides to have a read through on here.
 

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Thanks for the reply mate...ended up with a S3 as my old dog could no longer get in my current car at the time...Toyota Celica GT4 ST185...

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That was with lowered/uprated suspension, decat scorpion, running 0.9 bar on the turbo with permanent 4 wheel drive, so when I needed a hatchback for the dog, I wanted something less common as I always try to do. Going to a S3 on standard suspension from the GT4 was a shock (excuse the pun). My faithful friend is no longer with us but the S3 still is!

I've driven my mate's MK6 Fiesta 1.4 and even that seemed to handle as good as my S3 (heavy car) so I think suspension wise a ST150 would be an improvement.

I think the power is the biggest difference, having said that, you're ST must be a good performer running 200bhp so there is hope for me.

I've started window shopping and trying to start learning more about them, like most models of car, they seem to have their specific common faults...the rust you mentioned plus brake discs and rear brake lines...need to read more!

Need to find out the mileage that major jobs usually need doing, Clutch, etc.

Ideally I'll be looking for a standard ST but am aware of the cost savings of buying one with some mods, e.g. exhaust/induction seem to be the most common and I'm sure Black is the fastest colour as it's my favourite one :whistle:

Thanks for the 'heads up' and I welcome any more advice/opinions.
 

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Without a doubt the Fiestas are known for their handling over their performance/outright speed.

Being N/A too, the power delivery is very different from a boosted car, like to be revved out.

That said, a well modified Mk6 is no slouch. Of course its not going to impress BHP chasers, but as a drivers car, they are very engaging and rewarding. Much better than the "point and shoot" cars of today.
 

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All mk6 have a good chassis regardless of engine size.

200bhp is personally what they should have come with from factory but they were tailored to a specific market when released.

Discs are just routine maintenance. Common upgrades available aswell.

I bought mine heavily modified as saved me a fortune in cost but I get why people buy standard. If they've been done right it's a bonus for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cheers guys,

Had the pleasure to drive a few fast Fords over the years and lucky enough to own both a XR3 & XR3i back in the 80's/90's so quite familiar with them and Ford's great chassis design.

I think the ST will suit my needs better than what I'm driving now...it might be down on power a bit compared to my S3 but my S3 has a kerb weight of 1375kg and although fast, it does feel 'heavy' when driving it hard...if that makes sense.

You did well buddy with the mods...I'm the same, if it's done right, I'm happy. Just need to avoid any lemons...especially as they didn't come in yellow so no obvious signs for me :unsure:
 

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Good cars but the issue is always that Ford never really exploited the potential of the engine, but on the other hand that opens the door for modding. Needs cams, inlet, full exhaust to get it to where it should really have been as standard for the chassis. Or boost if you want to go down that route. Then also on the other hand (that's 3 hands now), I was perfectly happy with mine for a long time before I started modding, but that was back then and cars have moved on in terms of torque.

It's been a gradual thing for me, had the car 11 years but it was 7 years to get to the spec I'm at now, got a nice useable power now, and if you really give it the beans it'll fly and feels a bit mad, not like a new hot hatch. I had a mk3 Focus RS and sold it keeping the ST, dont really miss it tbh.

They still look great too, a bit retro now
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi mate,

Thanks for your voice.

if I get one, I hope to do any mods I can myself, it's been a struggle on the S3 as no room inside the engine bay at all, so every job is a pain or needs a mechanic/garage to do the work and I lost that connection with my 'baby'. Hoping to get that back with my next car.

Both of my last two cars, I have had to replace their turbos due to age so I fancy non turbo, partly less hassle.

Similar to you with holding on to my cars...last three for me...

Celica GT ST182 for 10 years

Celica GT4 ST185 for 7 years

Audi S3 8L for 5 years

I expect that adds up to more years than some of the members ages on here...jeeez I'm old!
 

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Along with the epic chassis I have to add that mine has never skipped a beat. Had her nearly 7 years and will be 16 years old in October. Not once has it failed to start 1st time and also not a spec of rust.

Been running 200hp for nearly 2 years and still hot or cold, wet or dry she starts eagerly.

Just a big shame about them being pretty boring from factory. An engine that loves the nuts revved off it yet didn't really give much above 4000rpm. But the bonus is you can make noticeable improvements with just an air filter and manifold flex pipe replacement if you didn't fancy putting too much money into modifying.

I wouldn't have one factory spec but with the car how it is now I can't part with it. Great chassis, cheap parts, no longer that common on the road and IMO the best looking Fiesta. Great package overall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cheers mate,

You guys are starting to get me hooked...I need to investigate the mods a bit more, always thought the handling would be a positive.

It's just how much difference in the speed/acceleration/torque I would notice and whether it would bother me. My S3 is doing 0-60 mph in the mid 6secs so quite fast for modern traffic. Although I do find now that I'm driving in more traffic, I have to work harder to match/spool up the turbo.

I guess you guys can just rev and go!
 

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Standard ST150s are 7.9, with a few mods they can go down into the 6s.

It's the torque you will notice the most, lack of. However, N/A sounds so good and instant power when you press the go pedal, no lag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your help mate...I like the idea of starting stock and modding over a period of a few years, so small gains, etc.

I think that is what I've missed most with my S3...it's pretty much ok as it is with a remap so apart from bits needing replacing, it was mostly cosmetic/updating tech, etc. and they are a nightmare to work on in the engine bay. I know the ST doesn't have a lot of room but it must have more than what I've got now.

I've always tried to buy a 'modern classic' (in my opinion) with my cars that I could improve it's overall condition during my ownership. I never intend to sell any of them but we all know, needs must at times. I'm now ready to make that change again and the ST150 is ticking a lot of boxes.

A few simple mods and I could have a smile back on my face, instead of the grimace I have too often spending money on my current money pit.
 

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Also not sure if it was mentioned previously but the 5 speed gearbox is a bit of a chore on the motorway. Lovely to use around the twisties but sitting at 70 the car is screaming for 6th and it can get a little tiring. I very rarely drive too far out of town but will normally hire a car if I'm going to do any amount of motorway driving.

Obviously eye up the service history like you would any car but I wouldn't worry too much about the "common" faults. Coming from an Audi the parts and servicing on the ST150 will feel like pocket change in comparison.

I've been very tempted many times by a B7 RS4 but the DRC issues alone make for some eye watering reading. For the cost of sorting that I could easily replace every disc, pad, spring, damper, bushing, pump and pulley on the ST150 and probably still have change for an air freshner :laughing:

Chalk & cheese cars of course but if you look at them both purely as fun ways to navigate a B road it's a hard pill to swallow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cheers mate, read about the M way driving and another reason why I don't need my S3...my old dog was so scared of fireworks so we would put him in the car and drive round A/M ways for 4-5 hours so we were all less stressed. Great fun on New Year's Eve, driving about from 10pm-2am :boxed:

The S3 was ideal for that, cruising at 70 mph.

Don't really touch M ways at present, if needed, my GF's 1.0 ecoboost Fiesta will serve that purpose...I had to change the shocks on that last year so that opened my eyes to the difference in cost.

B7 RS4 is nice but yeah, all old Audi cars seem to be money pits, plus parts are rarer...I paid £3000 for my S3 in 2016 and now it owes me £8000 all in so a good loss there!
 

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Any progress? Ride comfort and NVH will probably be a step back from the Audi. Although I dont remember mine being particularly harsh when it was standard, but now that it's all polybushed with Bilsteins and Eibachs it's a bone shaker!

I keep wondering if I should move onto something else but then I would miss having something fun to play around with
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi buddy,

Still tidying up my S3...had a stone chip last week, so new windscreen fitted yesterday. I'll hopefully get the car up for sale March/April time. I want to get a detailed advert sorted so the next owner has no surprises like me, when I bought it :rant:

Also, I've retrofitted an Audi RNS-E and Bluetooth in my S3...

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I know its not a deal breaker but the ST doesn't seem as advanced in that department...any suggestions grateful. I also have full Bose with a sub as standard so that will be a big difference, I'm guessing.

Seems to be a lot of St's for sale, 'half baked', with various different mods so also need to research good mods v. not so good mods.

Ride wise, my GT4 (before my S3) was like how you describe your ST...whereas the S3 is much smoother, but lacks handling, IMO.

I think I'm going to be looking more at standard just so I can see what I would like to change/improve.

As always when I'm thinking of changing cars, I seem to notice the next car I'm looking for 'in passing' seeing more on the road as your brain is tuned to that particular car...but I'm struggling to see any ST150's on the road around Oxford...where are you all hiding?

Any advice/suggestions, please keep them coming. I still have loads of learning...been trying to read up on the 'oil drinking' problem some suffer, is there a way to tell the difference between PCV system or stem seals/rings causing the problem?

I'm hooked now, so educate me all you can guys.
 

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The sound system in the ST150 is utter pants.There's no beating about the bush there. There's a slightly better Sony headunit in later models but it's primitive compared to the German stuff from the era. You can get cheap (but decent looking) double DIN Android head units that add apps & bluetooth etc. There's a few videos on Youtube with people installing them in ST150s.

Generally most ST150s for sale that aren't standard will have a cone air filter, a part exhaust (catback maybe) and lowering springs. Or a combination of those. All fairly standard bolt ons and I'd still just focus on the normal maintenance stuff with those. If there's anything more involved like cams then I'd want proof of professional installation and remapping. I can't think of any mods that would be "bad". Just poor quality, badly installed things. Or headlight eyelashes.

Ride comfort is fairly firm as standard but acceptable. However the arch gaps on standard springs are mad, you could throw a house party in there. So for aesthetic reasons if anything you may want some lowering springs at least. I have Eibachs on mine which hasn't affected the general ride quality, except for pot holes and badly built speed bumps which are a little teeth clenching!

I'm not sure about the oil drinking issue myself. PCV issues (especially around the valve + inlet hose) normally result in rev sticking. So if you're idle and rev to 2k rpm, the needle will stick there for a few seconds after you let off the gas.

Not trying to sway you from a Mk6, but if the budget allows check out the Mk7 too. The general leap Ford made from Mk6 to Mk7 Fiesta in refinement and interior quality was pretty ridiculous. It would certainly be less of a shock to the system compared to your S3. I had a Mk7 Zetec S before I got my Mk6 ST and the Mk6 is like a tin can in comparison. There's a good reason Ford has dominated the small hot hatch market since the Mk7 ST launched. The downside obviously being that at least every 5 cars you see on the road are Mk7 STs. Just a thought! :wink:

Anything else just post. I could waffle on about cars all day, my Mrs stopped listening years ago :laughing:
 

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Mk6 and Mk7 are two different beasts.

Mk6 is N/A, more direct and raw. More a drivers car.

Mk7 was refined for a wider audience, is boosted and has electronic PAS etc which hinders the feedback a little.

As for the Mk6 and things to look for, have you check the various pinned threads?

Buying: https://www.fiestastoc.com/forums/topic/77595-buying-a-mk6-st/
Face-lift updates: https://www.fiestastoc.com/forums/topic/3291-complete-list-of-facelift-updates/
Modifications: https://www.fiestastoc.com/forums/topic/78097-beginners-guide-to-the-mk6-fiesta-st-and-a-brief-introduction-to-the-popular-modifications/
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@NemesisST thanks for the info...you can waffle on as much as you like, I'm a new ear for your knowledge :smile: definitely no eyelashes heading my way :wink:

I guessed the sound system would be lacking, my S3 is quality on the music front. Having said that, I started driving in 1984 so I've upgraded from tape, to cd, to md, to usb, to sd and AM/LW to FM/DAB so it looks like I'll be doing something in that department if/when I get a ST150.

No doubt the suspension would be tired now so I would be happy to start with a basic ST and then slowly go through the route of suspension first, followed by induction/exhaust. Any cam work, I would want to do myself so I know it is done properly. I'm not expecting to get that near to what my S3 gives me performance wise, just a bit of fun and not too powerful/undrivable for my GF.

We bought a 1.0 Ecoboost in 2013 for my GF and while that is a cracking little car, I find the leg space around my clutch foot is squashed due to the body design and gives me 'old man knee' after driving that for a while. I think the MK6 has a bit more space in the footwell...I may be wrong on that one but feels like that to me. I also like the fact that the MK6 looks 'old classic' compared to the MK7 which blends in to the modern hatches in the car park. I always think that if you look back at your car when you've parked it up, it means you still love it. I struggle doing that with my S3 due to the stress it gives me. The MK6 is more likely to do that than the MK7 for me, if that makes sense.

@AMc thanks for the links...been reading some of that and obviously non forum info where I can find it.

I only drive my car for around 30 minutes at a time these days so inside the cabin will be a downgrade but only for about 30 minutes each trip :grin: the most worrying thing is that as I sort out the little jobs on my S3 readying it for the sale, if I'm not careful, I'll want to keep it.

Always difficult when I have to let go off my latest 'baby' but like any addict, I need to wean myself off the S3 and on to another more suitable 'drug' that is another modern classic.

Keep it coming guys...it's good to talk, I'm like a sponge...damp and full of holes!
 
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